South Africa‘s Brimstone Investment Corporation said it is reviewing its role in a proposed R4.8 billion ($353.38 million) buyout of dairy firm Clover Industries, after opposition from an anti-Israel boycott and divestment group.
Shares in Clover, which processes products including yoghurt and olive oil, fell nearly 10% on Thursday after Brimstone, which has a 15% stake in a consortium offering to buy the firm, said it was reconsidering due to “widespread outrage”.
“Having regard to our company’s value-driven identity, we take note of the widespread outrage in respect of Brimstone’s participation in the proposed purchase of… Clover Industries Limited,” Brimstone said in a statement.
“Brimstone has decided to review its role in the proposed transaction.”
On Wednesday, Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions against Israel in South Africa (BDS SA), an organisation that promotes solidarity with Palestinians, said it opposed the deal, which is being led by an Israeli beverage firm, the Central Bottling Company (CBC).
BDS SA had no immediate comment on Thursday. Spokespeople for CBC and Clover were not immediately available for comment.
Boycott and divestment campaigns have a history of success in South Africa, after an international campaign against the apartheid regime.
Brimstone was one of the minority partners in the deal, which marked the first firm offer for Clover after months of takeover talks with numerous firms.
Its decision to review its role leaves the offer, which had prompted a 20% jump in Clover shares, casts some doubt on the deal with Clover shares falling 9.78% before paring the losses to trade down 6.43% at 1102 GMT on Thursday.